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    Posted December 15, 2017 [ Courier-Journal ]
Calls for Dan Johnson to quit turn to expressions of sympathy after lawmaker's suicide
     Wednesday night's suicide of Rep. Dan Johnson, a Bullitt County Republican accused of sexual assault and other wrongdoing in an investigative news report, is prompting expressions of sympathy from colleagues in Frankfort. The death of Johnson came in the midst of a five-part series on the politician and self-appointed "pope" at the Heart of Fire Church in Fern Creek by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

    Posted December 15, 2017 [ Courier-Journal ]
University of Louisville reins in troubled foundation but decides against lawsuit
     After months of weighing litigation, the University of Louisville announced Thursday it won't sue its financially troubled foundation, which lost up to $100 million through excessive spending and unwise investments. But in exchange, the foundation agreed to end multiple practices that led to its "past management issues" and to additional monitoring and restrictions, the university said in a news release.

    Posted December 15, 2017 [ Courier-Journal ]
Rep. Dan Johnson's wife vows 'story of his life is far from over' after suicide
     A day after state Rep. Dan Johnson died by suicide amid sexual abuse allegations, his wife said she would run for his House seat. "Dan is gone but the story of his life is far from over," Rebecca Johnson said.

Posted December 15, 2017 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Five shots fired into a condo with woman, kids inside
     A woman was struck by a bullet after several shots were fired into her condominium early Friday morning, police said. At least five shots were fired into the condo, and children were inside, police told WKYT. Only the woman was struck, police said.

Posted December 15, 2017 [ Kentucky Enquirer ]
3 arrested in connection to Newport taxi driver shooting
     Three people were arrested this week in connection to the shooting death of a Newport taxi driver, police said Wednesday. According to Newport police, Justin Russell, 20, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, was identified by a witness to the incident as the shooter. Video surveillance of the area also corroborated the timeline of events, police said. He was arrested and charged with murder on Wednesday.

Posted December 15, 2017 [ Kentucky Enquirer ]
Bellevue's favorite Santa keeps belief alive
     When Bellevue resident Ed Ulsas looked at himself in the mirror the last thing he ever saw was Santa Claus. It seems almost impossible now, as Ed sits at his kitchen table, his rosy cheeks enough to brighten the entire room, that Ed was ever anyone but Santa. The persona, however, wasn't taken on until 2005 when the Northern Kentucky man – born and raised – was approached about taking on the iconic holiday role to make appearances during the city's annual Christmas walk.

Posted December 15, 2017 [ Kentucky Enquirer ]
Northern Ky. drug supply fed by Iron Horsemen motorcycle leader
     Part of Northern Kentucky's crystal methamphetamine supply rode in with the Iron Horsemen motorcycle gang for two years. On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced an Iron Horsemen motorcycle gang leader from Boone County to 35 years in prison.

    Posted December 15, 2017 [ Kentucky Standard ]
Beshear warns of ‘mystery shopper’ seasonal scam
     Kentuckians looking to make extra money in time for the Christmas season need to watch out for seasonal employment scams, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Dawson Springs Progress ]
Pennyrile park to undergo renovations next month
     Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park is one of three Kentucky state resort parks to temporarily close some operations for renovations this winter, according to a news release from Kentucky State Parks. Clifty Creek Restaurant at Pennyrile will be closed Jan. 3-24, 2018. No layoffs of full-time staff will occur, said Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Elaborate marijuana operation was close to children, state police say
     A Rockcastle County man is accused of growing nearly 200 marijuana plants in a building near his home where five children also lived. Kentucky State Police searched Matthew Green’s residence, and discovered an elaborate, indoor marijuana operation in a building on the property, according to Green’s arrest citation.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Courier-Journal ]
Tree 'topping' in Courier Journal parking lot was meant for safety but leaves arborists fuming
     Tree advocates this week are criticizing Courier Journal for the recent heavy trimming of 40 mature trees in one of its downtown parking lots, a move they say could doom the trees to an early death in a part of Louisville with far too little cooling shade.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Appalachian News-Express ]
Former Pike County official's case to be dismissed so animals can be adopted
     The animal cruelty case against a former Pike deputy judge-executive was dismissed with prejudice in Pike District Court Tuesday after the Pike County Animal Shelter asked for the dismissal. The animals seized in the case included eight cats, 44 chickens (including chicks), a dog, 25 kittens, three love birds, 11 parakeets and seven pigeons.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
DeCesare says he's undecided on running again
     State Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, said Thursday he hasn’t decided whether he will run for re-election in 2018 as he and other legislators are embroiled in the fallout from a sexual harassment settlement. Against that background, challengers have emerged for the seats held by DeCesare and Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Oakland, who was also part of the settlement.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ The Gleaner ]
Drug case against Webster County teachers advances
     The Webster County case involving two middle school teachers, an assistant police chief and alleged child porn and drug trafficking charges is moving forward in the judicial process. Henderson County Attorney Steve Gold, who was appointed as special prosecutor in the drug cases involving Jason West of Newburgh, Indiana, and Lucia Jenkins of Providence, Ky., said that during a recent preliminary hearing in West's case, a judge found probable cause for the drug charge against the 36-year old social studies teacher.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Prosecutors throw the book at Eric Conn. He could be in prison for life.
     Former Eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric C. Conn will face prosecution on more than a dozen federal charges that could keep him behind bars for life if he is convicted. Conn, 57, would have avoided the charges if he had stuck to the to deal he made in pleading guilty on related charges. Instead, Conn fled while on home detention as he awaited sentencing, and he was gone for six months.

    Posted December 14, 2017 [ Courier-Journal ]
Rep. Dan Johnson's wife, Rebecca, wants to run for his Kentucky House seat
     The wife of a Republican lawmaker in Kentucky who killed himself after accusations he sexually assaulted a teenage girl says she will seek to replace him in the state legislature. Rebecca Johnson made the announcement in a news release sent to The Associated Press.

    Posted December 14, 2017 [ Courier-Journal ]
Pension reform, taxes and the budget: Matt Bevin reaches his defining moment as governor
     Drowned out amid the uproar over pension reform and stunning allegations of sexual harassment in the legislature this fall has been a public policy message that will have a far greater impact on the lives of Kentuckians: The next state budget has a $1 billion hole to fill, and if there is no new revenue, massive cuts to programs are coming when the legislature convenes to tackle the problem.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Insider Louisville ]
Community activists show solidarity at anti-liquor store rally in Louisville's Smoketown
     The campaign to end the concentration of liquor stores in Louisville’s disadvantaged communities gained momentum Wednesday at a rally in front of the Smoketown historic marker. The motivation for the gathering was to show opposition to two proposed liquor stores at the intersection of Hancock and Broadway, but community activists from other neighborhoods showed up to make it clear the problem extends beyond Smoketown’s boundaries.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Madisonville Messenger ]
Owensboro Health expands services in Hopkins County
     One of Madisonville's newest additions -- the Healthplex in Mid-Town Commons -- is on schedule for a 2018 grand opening. The $23 million, 40,000-square-foot facility will begin taking patients Jan. 8. Ground broke on Owensboro Health's second Madisonville location in June 2016. One Health Multicare will continue operations as a primary care and family practice at its South Main Street facility. Urgent care, occupational medicine, orthopedics, sports medicine, pulmonology, pain management, laboratory services and imaging will be offered at the new complex.

Posted December 14, 2017 [ Murray Ledger & Times ]
Group alleges collusion between library board president and architect
     A group of Calloway County residents are alleging that Calloway County Public Library Board of Trustees President Ricky Lamkin potentially colluded with a Mayfield-based architect in connection to a possible library expansion and renovation. At the library board meeting Wednesday night, Ann Landini, Phyllis Miller and Lou Ann Philpot read aloud emails they said were between Lamkin and Riley, dated in September of this year. Those emails revolved largely around Lamkin seeking advice on how best to decline a bid from local architectural firm 5253 Design Group, which had bid $3 million to renovate the library and add 5,000 square feet to it.


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